The main tip that health professionals always offer is to ‘not diet but change your lifestyle. Fad diets and unhealthy alternatives can help you lose weight quickly, but also help you gain it back even quicker
If you are looking to feel healthier, take control of your weight management and feel better physically, a plant-based diet could be for you.
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is more of a lifestyle choice. It involves adapting your eating habits to include plant-based whole foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts and legumes, and limiting the number of animal products.
Plant-based vs Vegan
The main difference between vegan and plant-based choices is that a vegan lifestyle refrains from any animal products, whereas a plant-based diet gives the option of animal products but focuses the diet mainly on produce from plant sources.
Vegan dieters cannot eat the likes of eggs, honey, dairy or any other animal-derived produce. These are still an option for plant-based dieters, depending on their preference.
A plant-based lifestyle invites more ‘whole’ foods into their recipes. Whole foods have gone through very little if any processing and stay in their original state.
Plant-based diet benefits
When switching to a plant-based diet, a high percentage of people have felt physically better with less fatigue and more energy, while others have experienced weight loss and less stomach pain.
Enjoying a plant-based diet involves eating less sugar, fat and sodium allowing those who follow the diet to take control of their weight management, and disease prevention and help towards a lighter environmental footprint.
Best replacements for a plant-based diet
For many texture is very important when eating, especially when taking on a new lifestyle. There are many substitutes you can enjoy when creating your plant-based dinners, without straying away from the meals that you loved before.
One of our favourite healthy substitutes for meat is jackfruit.
Jackfruit is high in vitamin C, dietary fibre and potassium. Its texture is fibrous and dense and has been compared to a banana, mango and pineapple.
It can be cooked in chunks or shredded, making it a great substitute for pulled pork, and curries and as a replacement for pork or chicken.
If you are looking for a tried and tested pulled pork recipe, here’s one we made earlier!
Over the past few years, cauliflower has found its new lease on life. Once a side dish hidden below heaps of cheesy sauce during a roast (also delicious), now offers a focal point of its own.
The texture of cauliflower, if not over-boiled is deliciously crunchy and the perfect addition to a curry. The nutty flavour works well with Indian spices and is incredible when paired with creamy textures.
If you are looking for an alternative to rice, cauliflower is king. You can now buy it in most supermarkets, but it is also very easy to make at home. Simply pulse your cauliflower in a food processor, heat and serve.
Thinking you will miss out on pizza on a plant-based diet? Not with cauliflower. With a quick blitz, microwave and moulding you will have a pizza base ready for all those delicious vegetables to be piled on.
Whether you are looking for crunch or creaminess, chestnuts have so many uses within a plant-based diet.
They can be cooked and prepared in many ways from a creamy chestnut puree, ready to be used in a ‘non-cheese cheesecake’ to adding extra texture to your summer salad.
We have no idea why chestnuts aren’t used more in recipes, so why not join us on our campaign to make chestnuts ‘not just for Christmas’?
Many still use milk, crème Fraiche or cream to add creaminess to their smoothies, ice cream or curries. Don’t lose that indulgent texture and switch to coconut milk instead.
Many already enjoy leeks as part of their weekly meal choices, whether it’s for a leek in cheese sauce, to add flavour to soups or mixed into a delicious quiche, however, have you ever tried layering it in your lasagne as a replacement for pasta sheets?
The Hairy Bikers do an excellent recipe, worth a try! Our tip would be to cut them into manageable bite-size sections, as the layers aren’t as easy to cut as pasta.
Another great vegetable for layering would be aubergines, also delicious when stuffed or roasted.
Get experimental with plant-based recipes
The main tip we would offer when creating your plant-based recipes would be to experiment. So many plants, fruits and nuts change dimensions when cooked differently.
Instead of boiling vegetables, try roasting, instead of eating your fruit cold, why not try heating on a griddle with some sugar? The flavours that come from changing your cooking habits are amazing, so why not give it a go?
It’s incredible what nature can offer.
For more information on plant-based ingredients, talk to our team today at 01386 761 555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a great selection of jackfruit, coconut milk, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses ready for you to try. We will look forward to hearing from you.